Today Rodmund and I went to Suðuroy. Our targets were Gyr Falcon, Hooded Merganser and some kind of american-duck-surprise. Well, we also had vague hopes of Steller’s Eider, but it hadn’t been seen since October, so…
First we went north to check the Hvalba-area where the Gyr Falcon had been seen 4 days ago. On the way there we checked the plantation in Trongisvágur – NOTHING.
In Hvalba we soon located some Wigeons and about 30 Teal, but no yanks among them. Other birds in Hvalba included Jack Snipe, 4 Long-tailed Ducks, Iceland Gull, a few Glaucous Gulls, 4 Whooper Swans, a sick Coot, Golden Pheasant, 4 Turkeys, 3 Canada Geese, small albino Guneafowls – the last birds probably not spontanious…
Then we went Sandvík, which was severely sidelined by the exotic birds in Hvalba – there were a few sea gulls and that was it.
So we returned south (as it is hard to go any further north by car) and drove all the way to Vági. There we checked the lake where the Hooded Merganser had been present a month ago but we couldn’t relocate it. There were a few Mallards and Tufted Ducks though.
So we went to Akraberg and Sumba, where we drove through a snow blizzard. Through the hail and snow we saw a few Crows (we guess). In Sumba we bravely stood up to the gale force snow storm just to be rewarded with a possible Robin only seen by Rodmund and at least two Wrens in the gardens.
So when we couldn’t get any further down anyways we checked the cemetery… WHAT… Our luck had turned. On the ocean behind the cemetery the adult female Steller’s Eider was refound after more than 3 months absence (of both Rodmund and I). A lifer for Rockmund, who is still smiling. Well, the bird has probably been there all then time even though it has been searched for on a few occasions.
Then we started to check the bays further north, where we saw a few Great Northern Divers, 2 Great Cormorants, about 20 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 summer plumage Slavonian Grebes (beautiful birds), some Oystercatchers and Curlews, 2 Greater Scaups and 4 Goldeneyes (also beautiful), 1 Heron (not so beautiful) and a total of 50 Wigeons.
Rodmund and Silas